Hockey Story

I've known my buddy Matt since my freshman year of college.  We played hockey together, me the goaltender, him the defensive defenseman, so it makes sense that we'd be friends.  He's also a douche bag from Orange County that wears Diesel jeans and hair product (not gel, product) while I'm a twerp idiot savant that is not above eating spaghetti for 3 days straight, so it doesn't make sense that we'd be friends.  But there are benefits: he's pretty much the reason I'm a cowardly dick when I play hockey because I can stick some guy in the ribs and then grab some water while Matt pounds him into sand.

See, Matt is just kind of big, maybe 6 feet and 195 lbs., but more importantly he's very solid on his skates.  He's a very good defenseman, great at one-on-one's and very sound positionally, but he's prone to bouts of stupidity because he's stronger than most everyone else.  Think Chris Pronger, minus 6 inches and without as much offensive game.  I've seen Matt do a lot of awesome stuff, like when he beat up twins at the same time, but usually he's not doing stuff like that to defend his teammates or give the team some energy; usually, he's just being an asshole.  Guys see him and they think they can push him around, then suddenly they find a stick buried in their dick and a fist coming at their face.  What I'm trying to say is that he's a little unhinged. 

Here's an example: right before our very first college roller hockey game, I skated by him and said, "Make sure you're careful Dude, don't get any roughing penalties.  No checking in this league."  He looked at me wounded, like I had somehow insulted his honor, and replied, "C'mon Dude, I'm smarter than that."  Not 10 seconds into the game some little Asian kid tried to go wide on him and Matt hit him so hard the kid lost the ability to see blue.  (Probably, the point is that he hit him hard.)  The whistle was blown and Matt looked over at me and sort of shrugged as he headed to the penalty box.

Anyway, I went to watch Matt play ice hockey the other night.  I knew a bunch of guys on his team and I figured, "Hey, watching shitty hockey is better than anything else besides good hockey."  So I'm watching and this one guy on his team named Greg, who is a ridiculously good stick handler but weighs maybe 160 lbs., got the puck right in the slot.  As he kicked the puck from between his feet to his stick so he could take a shot, this big guy (we'll call him Big Guy for the story's sake) took 4 steps and just drilled him right in the face mask with a cross-check.  Greg went flying, Big Guy got a penalty, and the bench turned red with rage.  This is supposed to be a limited checking league (you're allowed to put a guy into the boards but no open-ice stuff), and the cross-check was taking it way over that line.  Of course, no one was actually going to do anything because hey, that guy is big, so everyone talked and then kind of glanced over at Matt to see if he'd do anything.  Greg was a little woozy but stayed in the game because, well, it's hockey.

The game continued without repercussions for Big Guy until near the end of the game with my roommate's team up 6-4.  The opposing team was attacking and chipped the puck back to Big Guy along the blue line.  The puck was in Big Guy's skates and as he tried to fish it out, my roommate jumped up and buried him along the blue line.  I mean, he destroyed him.  Big Guy, who remember is big, flew 4 feet back and landed with a tremendous thud.  Another player on the opposing team took exception to the hit and shoved my roommate, who responded by dropping the guy with a right to the facemask.  My roommate got a penalty for both the hit and the punch and finished the game in the penalty box.

Everyone in the locker room after the game was abuzz over the hit and one of the guys on the team told my roommate, "Hey, way to rock that dude who hit Greg.  He needed to get rocked for that cross-check." 

Matt was confused.  "What are you talking about?" 

The guy replied, "You know, that guy who cross-checked Greg earlier in the game?"

My roommate cocked his head and said, "Oh, was that him?  I just felt like hitting someone."

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